Transcript THE AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT PROGRAMME (ASP) IN ZAMBIA
THE AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT PROGRAMME (ASP) IN ZAMBIA, AN INNOVATIVE AND SUCCESSFUL EXTENSION APPROACH.
ASP is a commercialisation programme for small scale farmers.
ASP concentrates on the concept of “Farming as a Business”.
The programme realizes that it is primarily the farming business and entrepreneurship that drives the development of agricultural business entities and not agricultural technologies.
Households with Increased Income Improved Food Security Improved Production and Productivity and Marketing Entrepreneurship Development Interventions Households with Improved Technical and Business Capacity Improved Entrepreneurial Capacity Small-scale Farming Households Agriculture Development Interventions Improved Technical Capacity
ASP Uses a process of facilitation to assist small scale farming households to build their Entrepreneurship skills as well as their businesses
ASP follows several principles & pillars. The following are some of the key ones: • Participatory facilitation methodology. The farmers are always in the “drivers’ seat” • No hand outs • Walk away policy • Demand driven programme interventions • Household approach
The facilitation process continues for a period of three years. During the period households develop from being merely “rural dwellers” to become small scale commercial farmers.
The following are some of the characteristics of households after three years of facilitation : • All households have a vision • Records are kept • Annual and monthly plans are made for each economic activity • Household check out the market before they decide what enterprises to go into • Simple budgets are prepared for each enterprise • Diversification of enterprises also including off farm activities • Crop and livestock husbandry improved • Use of improved seeds • Better land management practices • Established links with service providers • Increased Income and Food Security
In response to needs for capital for identified investments ASP has facilitated the emergence of 300 ASCAS, 100 ROSCAS and 225 Investment groups.
ASP did not start with the facilitation of savings schemes. This came in later when the households had a clear idea of their businesses and their need for capital as well as a better capacity to save.
Availability of support entities at village level like, outgrower schemes, traders, processors, transporters, input suppliers etc. are very important for the development of small scale farmers’ businesses.
Many farmers have identified business opportunities as service providers through the facilitation cycle approach. This has generated about 800 small scale out grower schemes, which are very important as they often provide the following services: • Markets • Market Information • Supply of Inputs • Credit • Agribusiness advise (extension)
Conclusions and Lessons Learnt
• The programme approach works and would be suitable to replace extension approaches, which are technology rather than business driven.
• Participating households get out of poverty in a sustainable way.
• The programme approach has a positive cost-benefit ratio .